Archips podana

Author: (Scopoli, 1763)

Fruit tree tortrix moth
Large fruit tree tortrix

Species Overview:

Adult: wingspan males 19-23 mm, forewings purplish to purplish ochreous, with dark reddish brown, velvety markings and a dark spot at the tip; hindwings greyish, tinged with orange apically.
Wingspan females 20-28 mm, forewings almost uniformly purplish ochreous extensively strigulated with brown, markings weak, often represented in outline only. Hindwing fuscous grey, apical half bright orange.
Egg: 0.6-0.7 mm across; green; flat and almost circular; deposited on the leaves in a large, raft-like batch, covered with a protective wax-like secretion. Egg masses are extremely difficult to find as they closely match the colour of the leaves.
Larva: 14-22 mm long; light green to greyish green, darker above (body of young larva yellow or dirty yellow), with pale pinacula; head as long as wide, chestnut-brown with darker lateral and hind margins, a pale anterior margin and a pale, narrow mid-line; anal plate green or grey; thoracic spiracle elliptical, last body spiracle distinctly larger than the rest [Archips podana larva].
Pupa: 13-16 mm long; dark yellowish brown to blackish brown; abdominal segments 2 and 3 with transverse folds dorsally; front margin of transverse fold reaching behind, hind margin only a little undulate; abdominal segments with some conspicuous hairs [details pupa Archips podana ].

Taxonomic Description:


Archips podana male
Archips podana males 1
Archips podana males 2
External characters: Labial palpus yellow-brown more or less suffused brown, with terminal joint paler. Head and thorax brownish to yellow-brown, abdomen usually paler, with pale terminal tuft. Forewing somewhat expanding terminally with costa gently curved to middle, then indistinctly concave; apex short, slightly prominent costally; termen slightly concave postapically. Costal fold from base to near middle, broad at base, narrowing rather abruptly beyond. Ground colour purplish ochreous suffused with purple in the basal two-thirds; costal fold rather concolorous with ground colour but mixed with brown. Markings velvety dark red-brown; basal blotch subtriangular, pale-edged, followed towards costa by cream-grey or ash-grey broad suffusion; median fascia extending from one-third of costa, rather slender especially towards costa, straight or convex medially, distal edge in dorsal half of wing usually diffuse, inner margin often edged with whitish. Subterminal stria thickened to form an oblique fascia; apex and termen suffused black. Cilia concolorous with ground colour at tornus, brownish in remaining portions, mixed black-brown in the concavity of termen beyond apex. Hindwing brownish-grey, mixed with orange apically; cilia brownish grey or paler with brownish basal line, mixed orange in apical area (Bradley et al., 1973; Razowski, 1977).

male genitalia A. podana
Genitalia: Uncus rather delicate; socius very weak. Ventral edge of valva uniformly convex; sacculus slender with short free termination. Aedeagus somewhat bent in distal half, tapering terminally, provided with strong ventral dent apically.


Archips podana female
Archips podana females 1
Archips podana females 2
External characters: Forewing without costal fold; costa distinctly curved outwards at base, slightly concave beyond middle; apex elongate, prominent costally; termen distinctly concave postapically. Ground colour almost uniformly purplish ochreous extensively strigulated with brown or reddish-brown, radial veins lined with brown and forming a reticulate pattern. Markings weak, often represented in outline only; subterminal stria linear. Hindwing fuscous grey, apical half bright orange weakly strigulated with fuscous (Bradley et al., 1973).

female gen. A. podana
Genitalia: Anterior, cup-shaped part of sterigma broad, partially fused with equally broad large sclerite of antrum; caudal part of sterigma with long median process; distal lobes large, well sclerotized; antrum large, long, twisted in anterior portion. Ductus bursae long; cestum broadening proximally, reaching to before middle of ductus; signum long with fairly large capitulum and long proximal part of basal sclerite.


In both sexes, the markings and colouration show limited variation. A not uncommon melanistic form occurs in which the markings of the forewing are partially obliterated in both sexes, and in the male the orange colouration is absent on the hindwing, but is usually present though reduced in the female. Rarely a pale coloured form of the male occurs lacking the strong purplish suffusion and with the markings very weak (Bradley et al., 1973).


damaged leaf (A. podana)
damaged leaves (A. podana)
The species has only a single generation in Northern and Central Europe. but sometimes also a partial second one when climatic conditions are favourable. In this area, adults occur from June to September but are usually most abundant in July. Eggs are deposited on the leaves in flat, oval batches of about 50, with the shells overlapping like roofing tiles; they are then covered with a protective, waxy secretion that soon hardens. These egg masses are extremely difficult to find as they closely match the colour of the leaves. Eggs hatch in about three weeks. The tiny, first-instar larvae then spin webs of silk, usually beneath leaves and close to the veins, and begin feeding. After a few days, they moult and then live between two spun leaves. Particularly in apple, some larvae may occur beneath a slight web spun where two or more fruits are touching; larvae may also feed within the calyx cavities of the fruits . However, a greater proportion of larvae attack fruits after moulting to the third instar. Most larvae overwinter in this growth stage, sheltering in a dense, silken hibernaculum spun beneath a bud scale, between a dead leaf and a twig or spur, or within other shelter. Occasionally, second instar larvae will also hibernate; in favourable seasons, when adult emergence and egg laying is particularly advanced, some larvae may feed up and pupate to produce a partial second generation of moths in the second half of August and in September. However, most larvae, and any resulting from eggs laid by second-generation adults, complete their development in the spring. Overwintered larvae become active in late March or April, burrowing into the opening buds. They soon attain the fourth instar and, after yet another moult, then attack the flowers . Fifth-instar larvae may also feed on the young fruitlets. Sixth- and seventh-instar larvae tend to live on foliage, each webbing two or more leaves together and sheltering between them, or spinning a dead leaf to a healthy one or to a twig as a retreat. These final larval stages occur from early May to early June. Individuals then pupate within the larval habitation or within freshly spun leaves nearby. Adults emerge three or more weeks later. Moths occur from late June till late July. In southern areas the species is bivoltine (Dickler, 1991; Alford, 1984; Alford, 1995).

Host plants:

The polyphagous larvae attack many species of trees and shrubs.
Recorded from apple (Malus), pear (Pyrus) , cherry (Prunus cerasus), plum (Prunus domestica), black currant (Ribes nigrum), blackberry (Rubus fructicosus), raspberry (Rubus idaeus), grapevine (Vitis) and hop (Humulus), as well as from Cornus, Corylus, Cydonia, Fagus, Fraxinus, Populus, Primula, Rosa, Rhododendron, Salix, Sorbus, Tilia and Trifolium.


damaged apple (A. podana)
damaged apples (A. podana)
In autumn, the young larvae often damage mature or maturing apples, biting irregular pits in the skin. Such blemishes, although superficial, extending no more than 1-2 mm into the flesh, can seriously affect the marketability of the crop; they also allow easy access of fungal pathogens during storage. Similar damage is caused to pears, damsons and plums, but less frequently. At harvest, young larvae are sometimes carried into fruit stores and packing sheds where, if conditions are suitable, feeding (and, hence, fruit damage) may continue. In spring, attacks on buds can be serious, the overwintered larvae often totally destroying them; feeding by larvae or the presence of their webbing may also affect the development of young leaves and flowers. Attacks on fully expanded foliage of fruit trees and bushes are usually of little or no consequence but bitten fruitlets will either drop prematurely or develop corky patches or pimples which affect the quality of the mature fruit (Alford, 1984).
Generally one of the more abundant and important tortricid pests associated with cultivated apple.


Europe, Asia Minor and (introduced to) North America


Z 11-14Ac : 1 *
E 11-14Ac : 1 * (Persoons et al., 1974)

Components marked with * are involved in attraction.


Hybophanes scabriculus Gravenhorst (Ichneumonidae)
Itoplectis maculator (Fabricius) (Ichneumonidae)
Campoplex bilobus Thomson (Ichneumonidae)
Pristomerus vulnerator Panzer (Ichneumonidae)
Ascogaster rufipes Nees (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus abdominalis (Fabricius) (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus limbator Ratzeburg (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus marginator Nees (Braconidae)
Macrocentrus thoracius Nees (Braconidae)
Apanteles longicauda Wesmael (Braconidae)
Colpoclypeus florus (Walker) (Eulophidae)

Nemorilla mutabilis Meigen (Tachinidae)
Pseudoperichaeta nigrolineata (Walker) (Tachinidae)